What can one say about Amsterdam in the summertime… it is a place like no other. Warm days, cool evenings, bustling streets, hundreds of bicycles zipping past in amongst the cars and people, yet everything runs like clockwork. The city is modern yet the buildings that remain are historic, giving you that all-round “I’m in Europe” feeling. It is a truly magical destination. In the heart of Amsterdam city lies the W Amsterdam, and its story is one to behold.
Split across two unique buildings, a former telephone exchange building and an old bank, W Amsterdam is an intriguing design mix of heritage and contemporary style. This hotel holds back on nothing. It is a funky, modern, upmarket establishment that boasts an elegant restaurant, a stunning bar known as the W Lounge with a rooftop pool, super cool styled rooms and of course, the best in service excellence. We stayed in stunning rooms overlooking the canals which was a real treat to watch the boats go by as the sun set, and one of our favourite features of the rooms, apart from the hip and unique artwork in each, is the Marshall Bluetooth speaker set on the headrest… awesome, we have our own music at a touch!
Dining at The Duchess for breakfast each morning was a delight. The perfectly optioned a-la-carte menu is accompanied by a wonderous selection of pastries, juices and smoothies and gets your body ready for an energetic day walking the streets of Amsterdam. Although dining at a restaurant is always a great experience, the W Amsterdam offers something quirky in terms of its in-room dining, and nothing like what you would think you are going receive when ordering room service from a five star hotel. Instead of the usual silver domed plate and large trolley, room service is offered like a take away, delivered on a tray in a branded brown paper bag; you can simply sit on your bed in front of the TV eating your food out of paper boxes. We absolutely loved this feature of this hotel, as small as it may seem to some, it was a highlight for us! And of course, the food was absolutely fabulous as well.
The AWAY Spa simply had to make our schedule. I have always loved the look of this spa from its photos, however experiencing it is something quite extraordinary. Deep down in what was the old bank vault lies luxury, relaxation, sophistication and a very much required time-out. Lighting in this spa is everything; candles dancing in the slight breeze lead you down long and dark stair cases, yellow lighting in the hot tubs and pools make you feel as though you are swimming in liquid gold, and of course well-placed fireplaces add to the ambiance of the AWAY Spa at the W Amsterdam. The original vault doors are still in place as well as one of the gold smelting pots, now an ice water dip tub.
On 14 July 2018 at the World Luxury Spa Awards gala celebration, a week before our visit, this magnificent property took away, amongst other awards, the Best Unique Experience Spa award globally and upon arrival it was not hard to see why. The reception, X-bar (drinks and light snacks), Beauty Bar and hair salon are enough to entice your senses into what lies ahead, but finally getting down into that wet area is sublime, an experience like no other. Floating in the lap pool one can see oneself in the low placed mirror ceiling above whilst you can hear the music gently playing under the water.
Our stay at this phenomenal hotel will not soon be forgotten, and anyone visiting Amsterdam could safely pick this hotel as their accommodation preference and we can personally guarantee you will not be let down.
Reviewed by Joanna Evans- World Luxury Spa Awards Executive Manager
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